The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dan, here comes Kodankandath code

Mumbai, Oct. 26: This is not for those who have still not read The Da Vinci Code.

If Dan Brown offered a radical reading of Christianity through Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings in his bestseller, he also provoked someone in far-away Calicut enough to hold an exhibition of his paintings in Mumbai.

Francis Anthony Kodankandath will hold the exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery in the city this week to protest Brown's 'misinterpretation' of Da Vinci's works.

'Brown is trying to use the great painter to sell his book,' says Kodankandath, who is a superintendent of customs posted in Calicut. 'I use the same techniques used by Brown to show that Da Vinci did not intend to mean what Brown claims he does.'

So if Brown's interpretation was complicated, Kodankandath's is uber complicated.

He says that as a customs officer, he has dealt with a number of valuable works of art, and looked at Dan Brown's work as an 'investigative work'.

'Brown uses the mirror image technique to analyse The Last Supper to suggest there was a woman's presence in it that points to the Holy Grail. I use the same technique in a different way to come to very different conclusions,' says Kodankandath.

'There is the presence of the Holy Grail in the painting, suggested in more than one way,' he says. 'But instead of in the 'female' presence, the mystery lies in the ceiling,' says Kodankandath.

'A disciple on Jesus' left points his finger upwards. If you hold a mirror on top of Jesus' head, instead of on his side as Brown does, then an inverted triangle is formed. Its two arms, when extended, coincide with the two ends of the ceiling. If you look at the beams on the ceiling with respect to this triangle, there are repeated 'V' chalice shapes.

'Then if you place on top of the table the base of the Vitruvian Man, another famous Da Vinci work that is a dominant symbol in the book, the circle of the Vitruvian Man passes exactly through the innermost 'V' above Jesus' head,' he adds.

'The circle symbolises Holy Bread and the 'V' symbolises the chalice. Together they can only stand for the Holy Mass,' says Kodankandath.

He is also dismissive about Brown's yin and yang theory and says the rules of anatomy, of which Da Vinci was a master, would never have allowed the depiction of a female figure in the manner done in the painting.

Kodankandath, an award-winning officer, calls his exhibition 'Decoding Da Vinci'. About 10 paintings will be devoted on this theme and 10 on others.

The exhibition will be on from this Wednesday to Tuesday, while his audience will be invited to figure whether this is another bold alternative theory or a repeat of what he accuses Brown of doing ' cashing in on another work's popularity.

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